Home / Connected To The Land Ep. 11: Arnusch Farms & Beer Grains (Brett Arnusch)

Connected To The Land Ep. 11: Arnusch Farms & Beer Grains (Brett Arnusch)

Connected To The Land Ep 11: Arnusch Farms & Beer Grains (Brett Arnusch) Arnusch Farms And Beer Grains (Brett Arnusch)...

Connected To The Land Ep 11: Arnusch Farms & Beer Grains (Brett Arnusch)

Arnusch Farms And Beer Grains (Brett Arnusch)

In this episode of Connected to the Land Podcast with 4Rivers Equipment, Fred Eichler chats with Brett Arnusch, one of the owners of Arnusch Farms. Brett explains to Fred how Arnusch Farms is involved in the craft brew and distillery industry.

Guest: Brett Arnusch

Host: Fred Eichler

  1. What makes beer grains different from regular grains? We aren’t specifically just growing beer grains were very diverse in our operation, but we have two specific varieties that are being used for beer, the wheat varieties that are used for beer, and then we have three different barley varieties that are used for beer. There’s an intermediate between us and the brewery, so it starts on our farm, and then there’s a malt house in the middle, and a Malthouse steps the grain, they rose the grain, they germ the grain, they kill it, frankly, it’s a lot of magic to me, I don’t understand it as much as I probably should, but that’s where a lot of the flavor profile happens, the protein strengthens, the fundamentals of the grain start on our farm, it moves to the mall house, like trivial things, and then from there it goes to a brewery or distillery, so the Ross that you put on it adds a lot of different flavor to it, so you could have light roses just like coffee. You think about coffee. Now you got your light roast, which is like a glazed donut, and then you have your dark roast, which is like dark, dark black. So we worked with distributor malting initially, okay. And we still do, but we started to grow into a bunch of different spaces wherein I believe four or five different malt houses from tuber root shoots, Wyoming maltings, but then their products are spread across the nation, different brews that we’re in, that I know of as horse and Dragon, which is… They’re not small by any means, but they’re more on Basilio course horse dragon that time, Carol up and Fort Collins, the Cooper met really, that’s it. ALS, New Belgium, Great Divide Wiley roots were all across the nation, and even I was gifted some whiskey for my Christmas present from my mother-in-law is going to be mother-in-law, and the barley that was roasted in the whiskey itself started on our farm. Wow. And it came from California.
  2. How did you get started in this industry?In high school, I and a really good friend would do a lot of delivery of Grass hay for a neighbor, and the common theme amongst every single customer that we deliver to is that they need more and… Well, I could make more. So I decided, you know what, I’d like to get a baler. I started borrowing a tractor, and now I’ve purchased that tractor from my uncle, so I have my first line of equipment, I found my Baylor on Facebook, I even delivered it to me, so it was a heck of a deal, but I decided that I was going to start making this hay and putting it up and see if I can maybe capitalize a little bit and a little bit of money for myself. And it has really taken off. Now, I have 400 acres, not all of… Hey, I got about 60 right now, if he planned it for about another 65, maybe 70, but I’m just really, really thrilled with the opportunity that I was able to start and be able to farm that ground that my great-grandparents farm, as I mentioned before, but it’s just something really special to be able to do what you love, it’s kind of crazy to say, but there’s nothing like baling and hay, at 2:30 in the morning when you’re just exhausted, maybe a couple of beers in your hand, and I farm right next to the interstate, and you just see all the different cars driving by and you think, you know what’s that person doing and just seeing the sunrise and it’s just really, really special.
  3. What is the competition like?So our competition, in my opinion, still believes in craft grains as a commodity, they basically fill a rail call or full of them and ship them out and hope for the best, which doesn’t hone in on craft, in my opinion, the efforts that we put into growing a top-notch craft grain are far, far beyond what you’re just going to grow a typical commodity or red winter wheat, so the competition, then you guys are making an extra effort to make a specific type more with those guys in mind, or

    Just throwing it at him and go and hear some green.

    Right, and I don’t want to downplay the competition, what they’re doing is tremendous, but they’re doing it at such a large scale, and because we’re a smaller farm in comparison that we can really exert a lot more efforts toward growing what the brewer… The monster wants, we had the pleasure of having Tim, Master Brewer from Oscar Blues out, and he told us really what he’s looking for in the grain, not demanding what he wants and grain, but what he’s looking for. And again, it’s like they’re speaking in tongues, but we’re able to understand and work the equation backwards, you know, alright, so we need to get to for… How do we get to four? Alright, well, we can do two and two, we can do one and three. Let’s get to four. So instead of doing, well, two plus two is always equal for on our farm, let’s just keep doing that, we decided to work our equation backward and then that has really changed the outlook on what our entire farm looks like to keep the end-user in mind. Rather than us just grow crops.

    See, that’s great… It seems there’s a common theme with successful farmers, you know what I mean, ranchers that are willing to adapt, make changes, and sometimes on the fly,

  4. Where do you send your grains to?I would say the largest quantity part of our operation is the seed crop that we send… The seed crop is going then for the future crop that will be grown for the distillery or the Brewery, or the malt house, whatever… We’ve sent seed from Maine to California, from Washington State to South Africa. So we’ve sent a grant all across North America and one part of another continent.

    Shipping… Who handles it for you? Do you guys do that and how to… The grain cereal seeds

    Did that as the reader out of Fort Collins handled all that, we just did the growing form, but… Awesome. Yeah, I would say that that’s the majority of the quantity, but for the listeners, we were in dry land distillers were in-snatching later, disservice is the highest distillery in the nation… Not highest Colorado. His highest as in its Nitish Park, Colorado or Fairplay, Colorado. So it’s the highest distillery in the nation, the block distillery in the Rhino district, we’re in some whiskeys with them, like I mentioned, Oscar Blues, New Belgium, great defied O-Dell’s, horse and Dragon…

  5. Why did you choose 4Rivers over everyone else?Sure, well, I’ll answer that initially with a story, why we decided my family started to go with John Dear, my grandfather worked with a different manufacturer, and he was trying to get a brand new tractor, and it just took him forever, and he went in and said, Hey, I need a distractor. I’ve already paid for it, and they said, Well, it’s not here yet. We’re sorry. You said, Well, it’s getting a little late. So he walked into the John Deere dealer that used to be in Kingsbury and said, I need that track right there, and they said, Well, that one’s already sold, but we can put John a list, and he said, okay, because I need a tractor right now, I don’t have one, he already traded, I went in to get the other brand, and they called him the next day and said, Hey, the guy didn’t pay for the tractor fully… And it’s yours if you want it. So he drove it home, and

    So that’s how he got in with John Dee.

    That’s the reason why we’re John to your family. And the reason why I tell that story is because it’s about service, I would say that the equipment line is phenomenal, but it’s the service that makes it so valuable, and that’s something that we’re very special to have with 4Rivers just being just a shot up the curse cut off on 49. It’s very, very convenient for us to be able to have such a good partner, like 4Rivers. Yeah.

    It’s a life-saver when you see that truck coming in, if you do have a breakdown, whether it’s something that you caused or just from a piece of equipment… Have somebody come out there. Is pretty huge.

  6. Where do you see Arnush Farms in 10 years?Yeah, it’s hard to try to project on where we’re going to be in 10 years, so that’s a very challenging question in our farm has fortunately been able to pivot about every five, seven or so, and so I think we’re kind of time and primed up for another pivot and in what direction? I’m not 100% sure, but here, where we are in prospect Valley and Kingsbury is just very fortunate… We have water for wells, we have ditch water that would be able to use, but we’re using that as efficiently as we can, and I think that we’re going to start transitioning into that area more, but the one thing that pops up in my mind the biggest is barley, we’re having a big discussion right now with Rog and elevator, they want to have more and more barley to their area, so we’re to produce more and more seed for barley. For what reason? I’m not 100% sure, but we’re trying to produce more and more seeds that we can satisfy that need that they’re looking for, so if you were to tell me right now in the next couple of years, I think we’ll be in and a lot more barley, which fits right into our forte, limited water supply, being able to keep things wet and grow a good crop, so right now, I would say barley, but 10 years from now, I mean…

    I don’t know. Yeah, who knows?

    Depends on what the market does. Yeah, no, good answer.

  7. Where do you see the industry heading?I mentioned a chair on the top of my dad’s career, right, the ability to at a beer, a whiskey and say, You know what, my products in that, but the cherry on top of the beginning of my career, I would say is a beer or a glass of whiskey is a great opportunity for agriculture and our urban cousins to harmonize together and enjoy something and talk about what we do in agriculture too often. I think that there are too many misconceptions about what we do in Ag, and I believe that having something that we can both enjoy and sit down at a bar and be no different than each other is something very special that we can really start a conversation over, and I really appreciate that because it’s an easy conversation I had with the person and say, Hey, you know what, that beer that you’re drinking right there, we’re actually the farmers for it. Boom, there’s the conversation started and you never know, you might meet a new friend and they can really learn something about what we do in agriculture.


    0:36:42.8 S2: Well then hopefully vote that way. Do you know what I mean? As politics play a bigger and bigger part, and farming and cattle, and as we move farther and farther away from rural America, a lot of people don’t understand that, so I think that’s… I think that’s a great, great point you made. Thank you so much. I’ve had a blast. I’ve learned stuff and it’s great to sit down with you because like I said, my son takes a lot of you and it’s been fun, sit down and have a chance to learn a little bit about what you guys do.


Listen to the full podcast episode above!